Insights from the UK and beyond
from Reuters Soccer Blog:
So, once again, England qualify in style. The garages can start stocking up on plastic flags of St George, the breweries can breathe a sigh of relief and the tabloids can start their gradual shift from cautious support to the crescendo of expectation that will accompany Fabio Capello and his squad to South Africa next year.
But is there any evidence that "this time, more than any other time, they'll do it right"?
Do England really have a team capable of getting beyond the quarter-finals, let alone winning the thing?
Points in favour:
1. The rest of the world aren't so hot at the moment. Brazil, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands are going along pretty nicely but Argentina, France, Portugal and even Italy have got problems. None of them looks unbeatable.
Two-for-one restaurant deals and money off vouchers have shrugged off their “uncool” image as the credit crunch bites, according to a survey, and apparently even Wayne Rooney and wife Coleen McLoughlin have used at least one to get a half price evening meal, despite the Manchester United star’s 100,000 pound a week salary.ย ******The practice – which used to carry a stigma – has topped a list of “cool money-saving options” adopted by people in the economic downturn.******Leaving reduced tips or none at all, buying own brand supermarket products and taking packed lunches to work also made the list.******The list of previously frowned-upon practices also includes selling things on eBay and shopping at discount stores such as Lidl and Aldi.******A spokesman from www.OnePoll.com who carried out the research said: ”We all seem to be embracing social habits that we would never have done last year as they were deemed ‘uncool’ or socially unacceptable. Paying by two-for-one vouchers would have had a stigma attached to it last year, yet now it’s almost more normal to hand over a money-off coupon when it comes to paying the bill at the end of the night. ******”Everyone is watching their pennies in the current financial climate so any possible money saving opportunities are being snapped up. Things that used to be considered tight-fisted such as failing to tip or buying own brand food is now common practice.”******The poll of 5,000 Brits revealed over two thirds of people feel the credit crunch has made them less judgmental about embracing money saving measures.******Seventy-two percent even admitted they secretly enjoyed saving money by adopting previously uncool customs. And 69 percent said the credit crunch has actually encouraged them to think about their financial future for the first time in their lives.******Forty-eight percent said they now set a monthly budget for their outgoings and the average Brit is now saving an extra 46 pound per month compared to last year.******Other previously frowned-upon practises helping Brits save cash include taking left-over food from the night before to work and shopping in charity shops.******TOP 10 CREDIT CRUNCH TRENDS (according to www.OnePoll.com)******1. Using money-off vouchers******2. Buying supermarket own-brand food******3. Making packed lunches******4. Refusing to tip waiting staff, taxis or hairdressers******5. Shopping in Lidl and Aldi******6. Selling things on eBay******7. Turning the heating down******8. Driving slowly******9. Shopping in charity shops******10. Re-using carrier bags